Crypto Terms: Letter E

What is E-Signature?

E-Signature MEANING:
E-Signature - electronic signature; an electronic tool used as a substitute for a physical signature when signing various documents.
1 minute

Let's find out E-Signature meaning, definition in crypto, what is E-Signature, and all other detailed facts.

Electronic signatures, or e-signatures, are digital tools used as an alternative to physical signatures. This technology was developed to allow more digital contracts and documents to be legally authorized easier. E-signatures serve as proof of identification of the signatory, who is the sole owner of the private key.

There are three main types of e-signatures:

  • Simple electronic signatures (SES)
  • Advanced electronic signatures (AES)
  • Qualified electronic signatures (QES)

More recent e-signature services have also started implementing cryptographic technologies as additional security measures. While the e-signature market is constantly expanding, some of the biggest names in the industry are Adobe Sign and HelloSign.

E-signatures are recognized as legitimate proof of identification and a legal substitute for a physical signature. The UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce was published by the United Nations in 1996 to establish the use of e-signatures. The document helped accelerate the implementation of e-signatures around the world.

Biometric signatures have been developed as one form of e-signatures. They require the use of physical qualities, such as fingerprints or face identification. Phones with fingerprint locks employ biometric technology. However, biometric signatures are criticized for their dubious security, as there can be no replacement if they are compromised.

Other technologies that provide similar proof of identification as e-signatures have been developed. One of these is a digital signature. Although the terms e-signature and digital signature may be used interchangeably by some, the latter uses cryptographic technology to reinforce the security and validity of the signature.

Digital signatures are commonly used in crypto spaces. Users are able to verify their identity and ownership of the private key without revealing any information about it. Electronic signatures may also be able to perform this function in the future as they increasingly come equipped with cryptographic tools.